Canterbury Park's Racino Proposal Passes House Committee
Updated: Thursday, March 27, 2003 8:40 PM
Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 12:13 PM
Canterbury Park Holding Corporation (AMEX:ECP) announced today that it's proposal to develop a "Racino" by adding new casino gaming options to its existing Racetrack and Card Club in Shakopee, Minn., cleared its first hurdle Monday in the Minnesota Legislature. The House Committee on Government Operations and Veterans Affairs approved, without recommendation, the "Racino" bill on a 9-to-8 vote, and sent it to the House Committee on Taxes for further consideration.
Canterbury's Racino proposal is contained in House File 646, authored by Rep. Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan). This bill authorizes the Minnesota Lottery to operate slot machines at the Shakopee location owned by Canterbury Park. The Racino at Canterbury Park proposal would add several new forms of entertainment at this site, including slot gaming, an Olympic-scale equestrian center, a 3,000-seat show horse arena, and a major hotel and conference center.
According to an analysis conducted by the Innovation Group of New Orleans for the company, once the Racino at Canterbury Park is fully operational it is projected to generate the following economic benefits:
- At least $150 million in new state tax revenues each biennium (two year budget cycle) to the state of Minnesota;
- Approximately $2 million each year to local governments;
- 1,400 new Minnesota jobs; and
- An improved horse and agricultural industry due to a $12 to $14 million increase in annual purses.
Proposals to add slot and video gaming to Canterbury Park have been considered by the Minnesota Legislature several times since 1997, but Monday's vote represents the first time a bill has passed a legislative committee. However, the bill still requires a number of legislative approvals. The Racino legislation is likely to be reviewed by other House committees before being presented to the full House, and no committee in the Senate has yet scheduled the Racino bill for a hearing.
"We have taken the first step towards legislative approval of the Racino, but there is no assurance that this bill or any gaming bill will be enacted into law this year," cautioned Canterbury Park president, Randy Sampson. "Canterbury Park and our supporters will continue to work with legislators to make our case for how the Racino can create jobs and generate new tax revenues for Minnesota".
Canterbury Park Holding Corporation owns and operates Canterbury Park Racetrack, Minnesota's only pari-mutuel horse racing facility. The Company's 63-day 2003 live race meet is expected to begin on May 16 and end September 1, 2003. The Company also operates Canterbury Card Club, the only facility in Minnesota given legislative authority to host "unbanked" card games.
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